Stalin pushed me out of DMK, alleges Ramanathapuram MP

Ramanathapuram MP J.K. Riteesh, a loyalist of the former DMK strongman, M.K. Alagiri, met Chief Minister Jayalalithaa at her Poes Garden residence here on Thursday and joined the AIADMK.

He said he informed Mr. Alagiri before meeting Ms. Jayalalithaa. However, the former Union Minister denied any knowledge of the development.

Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Mr. Riteesh alleged that it was DMK treasurer M.K Stalin who pushed him out of the party.

“Mr. Stalin has retained only his followers in the DMK. Many loyalists of party president M. Karunanidhi have left the organisation, and the remaining will also meet Ms. Jayalalithaa soon and join the AIADMK,” he said.

Speaking to The Hindu on the phone, Mr. Alagiri said there was no truth in Mr. Riteesh’s claim that he was aware of his meeting with Ms. Jayalalithaa. “If anyone says so it is false.”

Asked whether Mr. Riteesh moving out of the DMK would affect his faction, Mr. Alagiri said he never cared about people who left him.

“Nothing can weaken me. My supporters will always stand by me.”

He also reiterated his stand that he continued to be a DMK man. “I have been a DMK man and will continue to be one,” he asserted.

However, a source close to Mr. Alagiri said he was upset at the development. Only a few days ago Mr. Riteesh had arranged a grand reception for Mr. Alagiri at Mudugalathur.

“Some of Mr. Riteesh’s supporters have been asked to meet Mr. Alagiri on Friday to show the world that his supporters have not deserted him,” the source said.